South Yorkshire’s advanced manufacturing sector has got a multimillion pound boost from Business, Innovation and Skills Secretary Vince Cable.
Visiting the region to mark the start of work on a multimillion pound, state of the art factory for aerospace giant Rolls Royce, Dr Cable unveiled details of a new, £80 million initiative to help manufacturers capitalise on advanced technology.
And, he revealed that £15m of the cash will go to the Advanced Manufacturing Catapult research programme, based at Sheffield University’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, close to the new Rolls-Royce factory.
Dr Cable paid tribute to the region’s manufacturing skills, which had persuaded Rolls-Royce to build the world’s most advanced aeroengine turbine blade facility on the Advanced Manufacturing Park at Catcliffe.
He said: “This kind of development is important for the future of this region and it is important for the country because this is a statement about Britain’s excellence in manufacturing.
“It’s extremely important for South Yorkshire because places like Sheffield and Rotherham have long been centres for world class advanced manufacturing and top class manufacturing companies deserve support. These are the kinds of activities that will lead Britain’s recovery.
“The big message to the world from a project like this is Britain is making things, it’s making them well and it has some of the very best manufacturing companies in the world,” Dr Cable added.
When production starts, in around 18 months time, the new Rolls-Royce factory will employ about 150 people in hi-tech jobs and could create as many as four times as many jobs in the local manufacturing supply chain.